Thanks Mom!

I’m dedicating this week’s posts to Mothers everywhere!

Let’s face it…we didn’t become Moms for the gratitude, but it sure is nice when our children thank us for all that we do for them!   Here’s hoping we all hear the words, “Thanks Mom…YOU ROCK!” this Mother’s Day!

traits-of-a-mother

Thanks to Poppy Seed Projects for this poster.  Click here to get your FREE printable (you might want to use it to say thank-you to your Mom, too!).

For more thoughts on teaching children how to express their gratitude, check out my posts on ‘Saying thank-you’ and ‘Writing thank-you cards’.

Writing thank-you cards

Writing thank-you cards has become somewhat of a lost art these days.  I remember when I was growing up, my Mom insisted that we write them to each of the people who had given us a gift at Christmas.  I’m sure my siblings and I grumbled about it, but I know that it really meant a lot to the recipients (when my Grandma died and we were going through her stuff, we found a box with all of the cards and letters we had written to her over the years).

I have carried on this tradition, because I think it is important that my daughter learns the importance of saying thank-you and being appreciative of what she is given (it is too easy to take things for granted).  I remind her of the time the giver took to purchase the gift for her, and how a note of appreciation will only take a few minutes of her time.

My daughter doesn’t exactly look forward to this task (i.e. there are many things she would prefer to be doing), but the right thing to do is not always the most ‘fun’.  Having said that, there are things that can be done to make it a little less onerous.  Given that this doesn’t require a huge amount of concentration (you are asking them to write a simple thank-you card, not a Nobel prize-winning speech), my daughter enjoys listening to some music while she works.  In addition, I don’t require that all cards be completed in one sitting, although there is definitely something to be said for getting it done as soon as possible.  I give her a ‘deadline’ to work towards (if it’s left too long, it loses its meaning) and then give her the freedom to do it when she pleases, without nagging (that’s my plan, anyway).

If you’re going to have your children write thank-you cards, then you’re going to want to keep track of who gave what (once they get a bit older, your children should be responsible for this).  This list can be handed to your child who can then cross each name off when their card has been completed (it gives them a feeling of accomplishment and helps them keep track of where they’re at).  Seeing a list of the gifts they received also acts as a bit of a ‘reminder’ of what they got and of how lucky they were.

When my daughter was younger, she sometimes made her cards, but that can get a bit overwhelming (she usually has around 12 – 14), so I have no problem with purchasing a package or two of Thank-You cards at the dollar store (I take her with me and let her choose the ones she wants).

I leave the message to her, but it should include a reference to the actual item that the person gave her, not just a generic “Thank-you for your gift.”  People like to know that you remember what they gave you and that you appreciate it.  If the individual gave money, it’s always nice to indicate what you spent it on or, if you haven’t spent it yet, what you plan to possibly spend it on in the future.  If you have multiple children, they can all write a little note of thanks on the same card (especially if you are planning to send it in the mail, where multiple stamps could get a bit costly).

I realize that this is but another task at an already busy time of year, but teaching your children to express their gratitude is well worth the time!

If you’re interested in teaching your children gratitude, you may also enjoy my posts Saying thank-you and Be thankful.

Thanksgiving alphabet

I saw this great idea on Pinterest and thought I’d share it with everyone.  When you’re sitting down and enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with your family, give this Thanksgiving Alphabet Game a try.  Go around the table and, for each letter of the alphabet, have everyone name at least one thing that they are thankful for.  It’s a great way to practice gratitude and to remind ourselves just how much we have to be thankful for!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Alphabet Game

Click here to read the full article.

To learn more about what you can do to teach your children the importance of gratitude, read my posts Saying thank-you and Be thankful.

 

Be thankful

It’s almost Thanksgiving in the United States, so I wanted to share this great quote.  “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” (Oprah Winfrey).

It’s so true…so many people spend their lives in a constant state of wanting more, instead of being thankful for and appreciating what they have right now.  If you’re always looking for more, you will never recognize when you have “enough”.

This is an important life lesson for our children, too.  They can get pretty wrapped up in always having the latest toy or electronic gadget.  Teach them to slow down and enjoy what they have before they get the next thing.  Sometimes, it’s a good thing to have to wait!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wise words from Oprah (always!)

It’s important that our children also learn how to say thank-you.  For details, check out my post entitled, ‘Saying thank-you’.